GNADENHUTTEN, Ohio - A student at a Tuscarawas County high school has died from what appears to be a "probable case of bacterial meningitis," the school district's superintendent tells WEWS.
The Indian Valley Local Schools school district announced on Saturday morning they're working with the county health department to take appropriate action to safeguard students and faculty from exposure.
According to superintendent Ira Wentworth, a student showing symptoms of bacterial meningitis rode a bus earlier this week with other students at the Gnadenhutten Village high school. The district notified anyone who came into close contact with the student to go to a nearby hospital to be evaluated.
As a precaution, the school district will close Indian Valley High School on Monday to disinfect the school bus, classrooms, drinking fountains, restrooms and any other area that may be contaminated, officials said.
In a letter sent out to students' families, the school sent out an advisory from the health department regarding the incident stating the student didn't exhibit signs until Thursday and the "probable" case may take several days to "confirm."
The health department added the general public or individuals who didn't come into close contact with the student shouldn't be concerned given the appearance it's an isolated case. Bacterial meningitis isn't spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person who contracted it has been. The bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (i.e. coughing, kissing).
School officials declined to comment on the student's identity to WEWS.
All other schools will remain open.